Space Marines (Warhammer 40,000) - Chapter Structure - Traitor Legions

Traitor Legions

Nine legions sided with Horus and the forces of Chaos during the Horus Heresy. After their defeat they fled into the Eye of Terror, becoming the Chaos Space Marines.

Name No. Primarch Primarch's world Current base of operations Fictional characteristics Factual roots
Emperor's Children III Fulgrim.

Status: Demon Prince, elevated after killing Ferrus Manus at Isstvan V. In his despair Fulgrim allowed the demon in his sword to take over his body.

Chemos (Unknown status, presumed destroyed) Eye of Terror (Unknown planet) Initially striving to be the most loyal, steadfast and perfect of the Chapters, honoured by bearing the Emperor's personal insignia, the Emperor's Children become hedonistic devotees of Slaanesh, deranged maniacs craving pleasure from the most extreme actions and sensations. Their forces feature many of the infamous Noise Marines - Chaos Space Marines armed with powerful and exotic sonic weaponry. Fulgrim, the Legion's Primarch, is banished into his own mind after being forced to kill his closest brother, Ferrus Manus, by a daemon that takes control of his body. Much to the daemon's perverse delight, Fulgrim's essence is then imprisoned into a portrait of the Primarch aboard his flagship, condemned to witness the heinous acts perpetrated by his corrupted Legion. The eventual fate of Fulgrim has similarities with Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray. The legion's drive for perfection also has echoes in Dorian's vanity and eventual descent into hedonism.
Iron Warriors IV Perturabo

Status: Demon Prince in the Eye of Terror, elevated after inflicting a major defeat on the Imperial Fists after the Horus Hersey.

Olympia (Destroyed) Medrengard (Eye of Terror) The Iron Warriors are siege and trench warfare specialists. They favour heavy weaponry, fortifications, powerful war machinery, and the calculated use of careful undermining followed by overwhelming force to utterly destroy an enemy, never giving quarter. During the Great Crusade, the Iron Warriors and the Imperial Fists were engaged in an increasingly bitter rivalry, owing to their similar military specialities and Primarch Perturabo's perception that Rogal Dorn was favoured by the Emperor. The Iron Warriors are known to be manipulative, methodical, and ruthless in their pursuit of objectives, and ultimately rally to Horus' cause, not because of any particular conviction for the Chaos Gods or the Warmaster's righteousness, but through a lack of faith in the righteousness and favour of the cause of the Emperor, seeing themselves as slaves bound to fight never-ending sieges whose prize goes only to the Emperor. In the aftermath of the disastrous Siege of Terra, the Iron Warriors were among the only Traitor Legions to successfully execute a controlled, disciplined retreat, masterminding the infamous 'Iron Cage Incident', a trap for Dorn and his Imperial Fists, ultimately claiming over 400 Imperial Fists and Ultramarines who come to their aid, a massacre that grants Perturabo the title and powers of a Daemon Prince. The Legion's Primarch draws his name from the magical motto of occultist and mountaineer Aleister Crowley. During his time with the Hermetic Order of the Golden Dawn, Crowley used the name Perdurabo, meaning 'I will endure to the end.'
Night Lords VIII Konrad Curze/Night Haunter.

Status: Dead, killed by an imperial assassin.

Nostramo (Destroyed) Eye of Terror The Night Lords specialise in raids and terror tactics, taking special interest in psychological warfare. Considered one of the most disturbed and brutal Chapters even before the Heresy, their Primarch could foretell events yet to come, not only having visions of the fall of Horus and the disastrous Heresy, but also of his own death. He allowed himself to be killed by an Imperial Callidus Assassin, demonstrating that even the Emperor will commit terror and brutality upon his enemies, just as the Night Lords do. He summed this up with his last words; "Death is nothing when compared to vindication." The name of the Primarch, Konrad Curze, is a combination of Joseph Conrad and his famous work Heart of Darkness, of which Kurtz is a central character. The Night Lords' homeworld of Nostramo is also named after another of Conrad's books, Nostromo.
Warhounds/ World Eaters XII Angron.

Status: Demon Prince, dwelling in the Eye of Terror

Unknown Eye of Terror The World Eaters were, even by pre-Heresy standards, bloody. Angron was the only Primarch to refuse the Emperor's offer to lead a Legion, bent upon dying with his gladiator brethren, but instead was forced to abandon them and witness their slaughter. This, coupled with his never-ending thirst for battle and insatiable blood-lust, made him and his Legion notorious for being brutal, mind-altered, close-combat specialists; easy prey for Horus and the forces of Chaos. They became the chosen of Khorne, the god of war, blood and carnage, using the war cry, "Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!" Angron is a slave-warrior whose mind is tampered with so as to increase aggression and anger, and who leads a revolt of fellow gladiators - events loosely based upon those of Spartacus.
Dusk Raiders/ Death Guard XIV Mortarion.

Status: Demon Prince, commands his legion from the Eye of Terror

Barbarus (Destroyed) Plague Planet (Eye of Terror) The Death Guard, previously disciplined and notably resistant to even the most noxious war zones, became plague-ridden devotees of Nurgle, driven to spread plague and pestilence across the galaxy to please their god. They are amongst the most organised of the Chaos Space Marines, still adhering to their pre-Heresy military doctrine, and also one of the most resilient, given the incredible resistance granted to them by their status as living decomposing corpses infested with the most heinous maladies the galaxy has to offer. The theme of the Legion is decay and malady, an army of plagued, rotting and infected Marines, whose symbolism can be linked to the Grim Reaper such as the use of scythes as elite weapons, and their daemonic Primarch Mortarion, the 'Death Lord', physically similar to the Reaper himself.
Thousand Sons XV Magnus the Red (The Crimson King).

Status: Demon Prince

Prospero (Devastated during the Horus Heresy by the Space Wolves, but apparently not destroyed) Planet of the Sorcerers (Eye of Terror) The Primarch of the Thousand Sons became fascinated by sorcery and during one of his rites, despite already having been forbidden to practice them, had a vision of Horus' betrayal. Having no other means of sending a warning to the Emperor, Magnus the Red used his sorcery to bypass the Warp storms and send word to Terra. The Emperor ignored his warning and condemned his use of forbidden sorcery, banned during the Council of Nikea, sending the Space Wolves, the Sisters of Silence (warrior women who carried the gene that made them immune to psychic attacks), and Adeptus Custodes to bring Magnus back to Terra to answer for what he had done. Before Leman Russ and his Space Wolves could reach Prospero, Horus contacted Russ and convinced him to destroy Magnus and the Thousand Sons. After intense fighting, Magnus and the Thousand Sons managed to escape the assault on Prospero despite Magnus' defeat in single combat with Russ, in which Magnus' spine was broken, it is also stated that the casting of the spell which allowed the Thousand Sons to escape destroyed Magnus' original physical body, and sided with Chaos to ensure their survival. The Thousand Sons are favoured by Tzeentch, are bitter rivals of the Space Wolves, and value knowledge above all else. The battle brothers of the Legion are rendered to dust, trapped inside their armour by a powerful spell cast by a cabal that was supposed to stop rampant physical mutation, with only the Legion's Sorcerers spared to lead their brethren. The fictional depiction of the Thousand Sons is based upon Ancient Egypt, with their blades (power weapons, force weapons, etc.) being in the shape of Khopesh swords, as well as the names, traditions, phrases and iconography.
Luna Wolves / Sons of Horus / Black Legion XVI Horus (Warmaster).

Status: Dead, killed by the Emperor in the Battle of Terra. His body was destroyed by the Black Legion after attempts were made to clone it.

Cthonia (Destroyed) Eye of Terror The Luna Wolves were renamed Sons of Horus in honour of Warmaster Horus before the Horus Heresy erupted. After Horus’ death, Abaddon the Despoiler, the first to assume Horus's rank of Warmaster after millennia of leaderless existence, renamed them the Black Legion, renouncing Horus as a failure and marking their shame at their defeat on Terra. Prior to Horus' betrayal, the Sons of Horus were the most favoured of all the Legions. The Sons of Horus employ the Eye of Horus as their symbol, combining the symbolism of the Eye of Providence (representing a deity) with the eight-pointed star of the powers of Chaos.
Word Bearers XVII Lorgar.

Status: Demon Prince, ruling worlds within the Maelstrom warp storm.

Colchis (Destroyed by the Ultramarines after the Horus Heresy) Sicarus (Eye of Terror), Ghalmek (Maelstrom) The Word Bearers are strongly religious, worshipping the Gods of Chaos as a pantheon. They were the first of the Legions to fall to Chaos when their religious zeal and devotion was condemned, an offence which prompted them to search for other gods to worship. They are also the only Traitor Legion to maintain the use of Chaplains, which the Word Bearers refer to as 'Dark Apostles'. They are known for never retreating, even when facing certain destruction, particularly when facing the hated Ultramarines chapter. The Word Bearers are feared for their frequent use of daemonic allies in their strike forces. While their Primarch, Lorgar, mainly through his advisor Kor Phaeron, was the primary source of the religious fanaticism of the Legion and, thus, their analogous zeal in worshipping Chaos, it is their First Chaplain, Erebus, that orchestrated from the shadows the events that lead Horus to turn to Chaos and to rebel against the Emperor.
Alpha Legion XX Alpharius & Omegon.

Status: One of the twins was killed in combat by Roboute Guilliman after the Horus Hersey, but which is unknown.

Unknown Unknown Subtlety and covert operations are this Legion's forte, using minimal but devastating force against their enemies. Alpharius is revealed to have had an identical twin named Omegon who could serve as Primarch in Alpharius' stead. The brothers are described as being "one soul in two bodies" in an encounter with a Xenos group called the Cabal. The Cabal also instructs them to side with Horus for the Galaxy's sake, as for the Galaxy to survive and to be free from Chaos forever, humanity must be sacrificed. The Cabal has foreseen that if Horus wins the war, he will exterminate humanity in a few generations of further civil war, hating himself for the atrocities he committed. In the novel Legion, Alpharius says that "What I do ... from this moment on, I will do for the Emperor." This suggests that even though his Legion turns, he remains loyal to the Emperor. It has also been suggested that the Alpha Legion may in fact be manipulating Chaos so it becomes more vulnerable to the loyalist Space Marines. The Alpha Legion often use the hydra as a motif and it is often used to describe fighting them.

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Supreme Grand Master Azrael - Chapter Structure - Traitor Legions
... Nine legions sided with Horus and the forces of Chaos during the Horus Heresy ... Fulgrim, the Legion's Primarch, is banished into his own mind after being forced to kill his closest brother, Ferrus Manus, by a daemon that takes ... to witness the heinous acts perpetrated by his corrupted Legion ...

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